Namco Bandai brought back the Tekken games to their glory with Tekken 5 and its upgrade, Dark Resurrection. It focused on what made them great and also delivered on the storyline, which I think does the best job at it in the fighting game genre. Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion is the latest entry in Namco's famed fighting series and an update to the original Tekken 6 continuing the story of the Mishima bloodline with Jin Kazama now heading the Mishima Zaibatsu, which was once owned by Heihachi in Tekken 5, and currently taking over the world being independent from the rest of them. The only other entity that can oppose Jin's company is the G Corporation, now headed up by Kazuya, and they offered up a huge price for anyone to capture Jin alive. All of this war and chaos starts the sixth King of the Iron Fist tournament for those fighters who want vengeance, the fame, and the power. While some may call Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion simply Tekken in high definition, its new gameplay changes make it enough of a different game for new players to learn new moves, combos, and strategies with their favorite characters, and that to me what makes the game fun.
The character lineup for Tekken 6 is a staggering amount, which is over 40. Other than the new characters that debuted in 6.0, which are Leo, Zafina, Miguel, and Bob, two more new characters make their debut in Bloodline Rebellion. There's Lars, who is supposedly a long lost son of Heihachi as Kazuya and Jin don't know about him. The other new character is Alisa, a female robot related to Doctor Boskonovitch, that crazy doctor in Tekken 3, having flying abilities along with chainsaws on both her hands. The returning characters are all back with favorites like Marshall Law, Paul Phoenix, Bryan Fury, the Williams sisters, Eddy Gordo, Steve Fox, King, and more. For veterans of the series, the old characters are still play the same way with the same moves, but some of them have different animations, which gives Bloodline Rebellion some sense of freshness. Of course, there are also new moves for every character as well along with certain moves getting changed in terms of properties and priorities. Then you have your boss characters, which is a totally different story I will mention later.
The single player game for Bloodline Rebellion is the traditional arcade mode of fighting a set of characters till the last boss. Along the way, a bonus fight occurs with a huge robot named Nancy, which is an example of the wackiness the Tekken series had provided over the years. The last bosses were kind of cheap most of the time and Tekken 6 is no different with Azazel, a huge dragon that fills up nearly half the screen that can use rock-like projectiles, lasers, and its size to its advantage. Other than that, the difficulty for the single player game not that hard, but the computer A.I. can give a fight most of the time. Let's just say be prepared to lose some quarters if you are really determined to beat Azazel, but he is beatable like past Tekken bosses such as Jinpachi from Tekken 5.
The overall gameplay mechanics for Bloodline Rebellion is still the same Tekken you know and love with some new additions. One of them is the bound system which refers to the juggle combos. This usually happens when you use a slam-type move like Paul's Hammer Punch or Law's Dragon Hammer to the ground during a juggle which gives you another chance to continue the combo with a low or mid attack. Sometimes, using these bound-type moves will cause the ground to break in certain stages that are multi-leveled to a lower level. The other major addition in Tekken 6 is the rage system. Your character will be in rage when he or she is less than ten percent in health and some signs of red glow will show up. Once in rage, you can inflict more damage to your opponent than normal and vice versa if your opponent is in rage. This usually can lead to comebacks in certain situations which makes the last seconds of a match more intense kicking in the nerves of not making a mistake. Despite those new additions, Tekken 6 is still a juggle festival for high-level players and fun for casual players because of its flashiness compared to other 3D fighters.
The arcade version of Bloodline Rebellion uses a card system similar to Tekken 6.0. Your card from that previous iteration can be transferred to Bloodline Rebellion keeping your win/loss record and your customized items. For those who are not used to the card system, you pick a character of your choice and customize it to your liking as long you win matches for more money. You still gain money from losing matches against human opponents, but not that much as well as getting lucky in roulette. Sometimes, there are opportunities for super roulette where the player can win rare items such as new rage colors. The character customization is still the same from Tekken 5 of various color changes and additional clothing that is full of insanity. More customizations and item moves are in Bloodline Rebellion ranging from Miguel's guitar, Bryan's machine gun, Xiaoyu's magic wand where you can make your opponent wear a Panda head for the rest of the match, and more. Even though it may be a little pricey to purchase a card and spend money playing lots of matches, it is worth it in the long run to brag about your winning record and show off a cool customization.
Graphically, Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion looks pretty sharp. For those who think it is Tekken 5 HD, think again because it improves significantly. The characters look great with more details added to them than previous games. The environments also look beautiful and diverse with details, which is a staple of the franchise. New to Bloodline Rebellion are stages ranging from a forest filled with sheep, a Spanish-like arena filled with tomatoes, a skyscraper stage called Lightning Storm, and the Electric Fountain, an urban-like arena filled with multi-colored fountains. The ground does receive damage and will break as mentioned earlier in a handful of stages meaning there are destructible elements in some stages and look great as well. The water effects also improved from previous games with splashes acting like splashes. There is also motion blur effects with certain moves, which is a nice touch as well. In addition, certain hit effects like rage don't felt distracting. All in all, Bloodline Rebellion is one of the better looking 3D fighting games around.
The sound for Bloodline Rebellion is the usual expectations of the franchise. Blocking sounds different now which seems harder than previous games and the hits still sound the same. There is little character voice acting when they are introduced before fights, but they seem accurate to their personalities which is good enough to me. Musically, Tekken games deliver great soundtracks and this one is no different with lots of diversity. That diversity consists of various rock, techno, orchestra, and even yodeling in the new forest with sheep stage. My only gripe about the sound is that they changed the announcer again meaning he's not the same one from Tekken 6.0 and I get a similar Tekken 5.0 vibe from him, which I'm not a fan of.
Overall, Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion is another superb entry to Namco's successful franchise. The new gameplay additions make the fights more entertaining and intense giving players to new ways to mess with your favorite characters. It looks sharp in high definition and sounds great as expected. The wackiness that the series has maintained since its inception is still here in various places with a cheap boss and playing as a bear. The card system still remains addicting for the arcade scene of showing with the best character customization in a fighting game and maintaining a solid winning record. Quite simply, Bloodline Rebellion is flat out fun to play at the arcade which is a rare opportunity these days since only a handful of arcades here at the United States have the game. If you're able to live nearby a place that does have it, I highly recommend playing it now because it will be a while till the console versions come out later this year.
Score = 9 / 10
- The core fighting mechanics are still fun even in this sixth entry of the franchise.
- The new gameplay mechanics like rage and bound do spice up the fighting a bit making them more entertaining and intense.
- Still has the best and wackiest character customization in a fighting game.
- Great graphics and music (Perhaps the best right now in a 3D fighter).
- I'm not a fan of the new announcer
- Those who expected a huge leap like from Tekken 4 to 5, you're not going to find it in Bloodline Rebellion as it builds from Tekken 5.